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Freight on track

Freight rail

The railroads of North America lead the world in cost-effective long-distance
freight transportation.

Keeping that leadership position depends on
upgrading infrastructure to accommodate larger, heavier freight cars, and expanding terminals to handle ever-increasing demands for intermodal, automotive, or bulk commodities.

Mott MacDonald's designs are aimed at maximizing the efficiency and dependability of every aspect of freight rail infrastructure.

Our rail team serves national and local governments, transport operators, industry, mining houses, utility providers, developers, contractors, commercial companies, banks, funding agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

Mott MacDonald’s multidisciplinary staff works with Class I railroads as well as regional and shortline railroads on projects ranging from utility crossings and grade separations to signaling entire subdivisions.

Drawing on a broad range of skills, we can carry out large and complex projects in-house, freeing up your railroad’s staff to perform its day-to-day work.

Mott MacDonald successfully integrates existing systems with those that are more technologically advanced. Our knowledge of our clients’ operations and maintenance needs, and our familiarity with relevant codes and specifications, often result in reduced life-cycle costs for equipment.

As systems integration specialists, we ensure full integration for various systems components that spans from the conceptual design phase through the entire development, procurement, and testing process.

Global achievements

Around the world as well as in North America, our freight rail team is meeting our clients' goals.

Transnet National Infrastructure Plan, South Africa

We assisted Transnet Planning in the production of the National Infrastructure Plan, to brief both government departments and the wider Transnet community on an overall framework to optimize the future planning, development, and investment decision making related to the expansion of the national rail and port infrastructure network. The NIP was created from a series of studies undertaken to integrate the development of rail and ports throughout South Africa. These studies determined current capacity of the rail system and highlighted constraints that occurred as demand increased over a 30-year period.

Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) PLC Coal Transportation Logistics Project, Mozambique

We developed the design, concept to outline, of a freight railway line 746 miles (1,200 kilometers) long in Mozambique, to cater for an initial export of 40 million metric tons per year of thermal coal, escalating to 100 million metric tons in coming years. Our work included the technical and commercial evaluation on the feasibility of the project. A logistics system approach was initially adopted with routes allowing options for road, rail, aerial ropeway, and/or barging transport to the existing ports. Capacity analyses for port and land transport infrastructure were undertaken to assess “breakpoints” in production schedules.

Ministry of Railways Procurement of Rolling Stock, India

We supported the Indian Ministry of Railways in its procurement of approximately 1,000 electric locomotives over a 10-year period, together with an associated maintenance contract. Our knowledge of best practice in rolling stock procurement, including contract structure, maintenance arrangements, technical specification, achieving high levels of reliability and availability, the supply of spare parts, and the management of damage and vandalism and bidding process support proved invaluable.

Oakajee Port & Rail Pty Ltd (OPR) Systems Engineering Support, Australia

To maximize value for the community, government, and OPR’s shareholders, Mott MacDonald Australia was engaged to develop a Systems Engineering and Assurance framework to determine if this could help ensure that the infrastructure development associated with the port and rail facilities will meet specified project requirements and provide progressive assurance of the successful delivery of the project.

Waratah Resources Ltd Transport Logistics Project, Republic of Congo

We evaluated the transport of iron ore from the northwest of the Republic of Congo to the Port of Pointe Noire. The route was required to make use of barging down both the Likouala and Congo rivers and the existing railway between Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. The outline definition phase of the project allowed the client to investigate and optimize the transport of iron ore from the mining project for startup annual product volumes.

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